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War veteran robbed by opportunist low life
Ben Ludlow with his son Stan after the robbery. Picture: Nic Ellis, The West Australian

The 97-year-old World War II veteran robbed of his wallet while sitting in his son's car at a Stratton shopping centre has described the crime as "a hell of a nuisance".

Police and family members labelled the bandit a low-life.

"I'm all right, he never hurt me," Ben Ludlow said yesterday. "What did annoy me is my cards were in it, my bankcard and the normal things you have in your wallet."

Mr Ludlow was in his son Stan's car at Stratton Park Shopping Centre about 4.45pm on Wednesday when a "scruffy looking type" aged in his 20s struck.

"This bloke opened the door of the car, reached into my right side pocket and took my hearing aid out," Mr Ludlow said.

"He looked at it and dropped it. I'm sitting in the car with my seatbelt on, you see, not a bloody thing I could do about it. I couldn't fight back anyway. Next thing I know he leans over and takes my wallet out of my pocket and just walks away."

Mr Ludlow - a father to five, grandfather to 21, great-grandfather to 39 and great-great-grandfather to three - was more worried about the inconvenience than the theft of $435.

Stan Ludlow queried how the thief's mother would feel about her son committing such a crime.

"This seems to be the thing of the time, if you need money, go and belt an old person," he said. "They are just low-lifes who do this."

Insp. Rob Anderson said it was lucky Mr Ludlow was not injured.

"It's a cowardly attack, it was opportunistic," Insp. Anderson said. "This guy is an ex-serviceman. He's an old Digger - it was callous and a real shame for this old fellow."

The thief has olive skin, is about 175cm tall, of a slight build. He wore a dark-hooded jacket.

Police would like to speak to people who were standing next to a silver or grey sedan that was about 50m from the victim's vehicle.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.